8 Week Course

Over the eight sessions, Helen will hand hold you through measuring yourself before choosing the exact size that fits and flatters you from a bespoke sizing chart, which ranges from a UK 6 – 44.  You then learn how to trace off your dress block, before making alterations to fit your own unique body. 

Once you have cut out and sewn your ‘toile’, you will experience a bespoke fitting from Helen Rhiannon to make the toile fit you perfectly.  Helen will explain the fitting process and help you transfer those alterations to your pattern pieces to complete your well fitted block.

Helen will then guide you through the basics of dressmaking and the skills you will learn, to be able to create your own beautifully fitted dress, including drafting necklines, sleeves and a range of skirts.

Course Content

The skills you learn on this 8 week course are totally transferrable when working with commercial patterns.  Helen will be offering many professional tips along the way to help you pattern cut and sew your toile. Helen will then help with every stage of pattern cutting your final dress, cutting out your dress, preparing your pieces, pinning them together neatly, sewing them accurately and finishing your garment to a high standard. Every little detail will be covered in this comprehensive dressmaking course.

Duration of workshop: 8 x 3 hours.

Number of places: 6 max.

Cost: £360.  Coffee, tea and biscuits will be provided.

Where: The workshop will be held in Three Crosses Community Centre, Swansea.

What to bring: You will need to have a copy of ‘Dressmaking. The Easy Guide’.  This can be purchased at the start of the course.  You should bring your own sewing machine but you can borrow one if you need. You will also need pattern paper and calico for each week.    A full tools list will be sent once the course is booked.  I will have everything available to use, but it will help to have your own kit each week.

What if you can’t come one week: If you are unable to attend one week, you will be able to work independently from the book at home. I will guide you through the chapter you need and can help as much as possible where needed if you get stuck. The course will set you up to use the book to create many more dresses in the future, so it will be your bible!  There may be opportunities to attend another session to catch up but this is not guaranteed.

Cancellation and refund policy: Please read the full T&C’s here.


The breakdown of the course: –

Week 1
* Introduction to dressmaking and the processes you will learn over the course.
* How to measure yourself accurately.
* How to trace off a block.
* Labelling a pattern correctly.
* Minor block alterations.

Week 2
* Minor block alterations continued.
* Adding seam allowance.
* Cutting paper patterns.
* ‘Layplan’ and cutting sample out in calico.
* Preparing and sewing darts.
* Preparing to sew seams and pressing.

Week 3
* Trying on the sample and pin to fit.
* Drawing on the alteration lines.
* Transferring alteration lines to the patterns and amending the patterns.

Week 4
* Cutting out the second sample and sewing together. (Optional)
* Drafting a neckline.
* Drafting facings.
* Cutting out a new bodice and sewing the neckline and facings.

Week 5
* Drafting a sleeve pattern.
* Creating a sample.
* Completing any alterations before cutting out two sleeves.
* Sewing sleeves onto the bodice.

Week 6
* Drafting the skirt pattern.
* Learning how to draft a pocket pattern.
* Cutting out the skirt and attaching it to the bodice to complete the sample.

Week 7
* Cutting out the final dress.
* Preparing and sewing the dress, using an overlocker to neaten seams.

Week 8
* Completing the dress.
* Inserting a concealed and lapped zip.

All photos in the book by Mark Davison.

Please email me at helen@allsewnupwales.co.uk with any questions about the course.

Course Dates

Currently no available dates

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